Section 3: Lead Up
Principle 4: Do more than manage – lead! Needs Improvement
I need to improve in this principle because I don’t always step up from the management role into a leadership role. I find myself content with managing because I am not confident in my leadership skills. I end up following a leader, and managing their load through management instead of leading. I don’t like being a huge risk taker, so I follow boundaries instead of pushing past them. TALONs is all about stepping up and being the leader, like mentoring the grade 9’s or hosting leadership events. I don’t feel confident that I will be able to do as good of a job as the other grade 10’s so I step back and become a manager. I need to learn how do do more than manage, starting with taking more leadership responsibility in my leadership project group despite the challenges of communication and organizational issues with the Music Festival.
Principle 8: Become a Go-To Player Good in this area
I feel like I am good in this area because despite panicking under pressure when it only concerns me, I perform when my team/group needs me. I work hard to carry my load and carry my team/group when things aren’t going well; for example, in ringette when my team is losing, I always put 120% into getting the team back on track physically and mentally by playing hard and making strategic plays to compensate with challenges. In TALONs and in my previous experience of MACC, I learned an important lesson about leadership: there’s a time and place to be a leader and a follower; too many leaders/cooks in the kitchen lead to trouble. I always want to be there for others, and perform so that I am not the ‘weak link’ but the chain that holds everyone together. Wether that be a group project where they need someone they can trust and count on or a ringette game where we need someone on the ice my coach trusts to pull through when momentum is low and pressure is on, I do my best to be a go-to player.
Section 4: Lead Across
Principle 5: Expand your circle of acquaintances Needs Improvement
I am not the most social person or the best at socializing. I admit I have some social anxiety, and it’s sometimes difficult for me to open up to certain people or talk to those I’ve never met before. I feel awkward and uncomfortable, like I’m being judged constantly by not only strangers buy my peers and sometimes even my friends, and although it’s all just in my head, it stops me from trying to expand my circle of acquaintances. Once I properly get to know someone and feel comfortable around them, I start to open up and relax, but I do work better in one-on-one situations. TALONs, school, life- it all has to do with connecting to people and building relationships. I need to improve my socializing skills so I can feel comfortable around my class, the grade 9’s, other students, and people in general. The first step I can take is getting more social during leadership or group projects, and opening up to some of the grade 9’s. Next, I can start to open up more to those I’m comfortable with and letting them into my inner circle. Finally, I can try talking with people outside TALONs and sports to become friends with a wider range of people outside my expertise and routine.
Principle 6: Let the best idea win Good in this area
I love generating creative ideas, and regularly come up with multiple similar ones. Because of this, I can listen to multiple ideas shared in a group, and listen to as many as I can before making a decision. I know what it’s like to be the creative person that gets shut down, so I encourage everyone including other creative people to share their ideas in a safe environment so they don’t have to feel excluded or shut down. It doesn’t matter who comes up with the idea, as long as it’s good and thought-out. Aside from others, I get ideas from virtually anywhere. I’ve gotten ideas from dreams, walks, while eating breakfast, even in the shower! Inspiration comes from everywhere, and I want to let others share their ideas. In TALONs, you have a lot of voices clamouring to say their ideas. I try to make an environment where those who don’t often have a voice can still share their ideas. I’ve been there, and I’m still there, so I use my experience and talk with those people as a small group so there are more voices imputing the idea so it gets heard.
Section 5: Lead Down
Principle 4: Place people in their strength zones Good in this area
I have a strange ability to see the strengths of people and subconsciously categorizing them. To clarify, I observe people doing something in their strength zone and I take note of it without realizing or through impressions of how others are so amazing at that specific strength. Later, when a situation comes up where I need a specific person, say in ringette or I need help in school, I know what people can help. It’s possible this came from ringette, where I was noting the strengths of my teammates and of members of the opposition to efficiently come up with the best strategies or plays. In a sense, I would ‘modify’ my playing style to fit or combat the strengths of other players. The same goes for school, though without the competition. I see how students interact with each other, teachers, and their work, including what they are passionate about and what they struggle in. It helps that I grew up in a lot of small classes filled with people I know. My elementary school was very small so I had the same students in my class, I was in MACC during middle school, and now I’m in TALONs. This gives me a few years with people and lets me pick up the habits and strengths of people I might not interact with that much. I still have much to learn with the grade 9’s, but especially within my leadership project I’m already picking up the strength zones of my group, and I can start incorporating that into our how our group works.
Principle 6: Transfer the vision Needs improvement
I need to work on my communication skills. Without proper communication and socializing skills, I can’t transfer the vision because there would be no clarity or voice behind it. I have the skills of purpose, stories, and passion down, but I struggle with clarity (communication), connection to the past, present, and future (concise and clear synthesis of the big idea), goals (delegating tasks by myself and taking the responsible head leadership position), and identifying one clear challenge (I usually find multiple small challenges that have impacts on part of the vision but no challenge that impacts the vision as a whole). I am the creator of the Escape Room leadership project idea, and I admit some of the communication issues and organizational problems with the Music Festival might come from me not transferring the vision correctly. Within the next couple of meetings, I’m going to sit the group down, lead instead of managing, and make sure everyone is on the same page regarding vision. I will take responsibility for my actions, and do everything I can to help solve the problems within our group and project.